American Music of the 1980s today at Gallery of Art

Works by composers John Adams, Emma Diemer, William Bolcom and Anders Lundegaard will highlight a concert of American Music of the 1980s at 7 p.m. today at the Gallery of Art.

The concert, part of the Music at the Gallery of Art series, will be held in conjunction with the Gallery of Art’s major spring exhibition, American Art of the 1980s: Selections From the Broad Collections, on view through April 18.

“This is the final concert in a series designed to parallel, in music, the period or spirit of exhibitions in the gallery as part of the University’s 150th anniversary celebration,” said Sue Taylor, concert coordinator for the Department of Music in Arts & Sciences. “The early hour is selected to allow the audience to visit the exhibit, listen to an hour-long concert and still have the rest of the evening for dining and other events.”

Taylor noted that the four featured composers represent very different styles and musical aesthetics.

Adams, a leading member of the minimalist school of composition, will be represented by China Gates, a solo piano piece, which comes from the same decade as his acclaimed opera Nixon in China. The work will be performed by Lewis Eyrich, a senior in Arts & Sciences from Highland, Ill., and a student of Seth Carlin, director of the piano program.

Diemer’s Toccata, a very different kind of piano work, requires “extended piano techniques,” meaning that certain portions of the work are played inside the piano directly on its strings, rather than using the keys to produce sound. Toccata will be performed by Annette Burkhart, instructor in piano.

Diemer was born in Kansas City, Mo., in 1927. He helped establish the electronic music studio at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Mezzo-soprano Noël Prince, instructor in voice, and pianist Hugh Macdonald, the Avis H. Blewett Professor of Music, will perform Bolcom’s Cabaret Songs, including “Murray the Furrier,” “Song of Black Max,” “Amor” and “Toothbrush Time, Surprise!”

Bolcom, born in Seattle in 1938, is one of America’s foremost composers, perhaps best known for operas such as A View From the Bridge and McTeague. His lighter vocal works, such as Cabaret Songs, were written for performances with his wife, Joan Morris; as a team they have performed and recorded widely.

Lundegaard will perform his own Nordic Colors, a composition for soprano saxophone that reflects his Swedish heritage. Lundegaard, who holds a doctorate in music from Northwestern University and now lives in Pennsylvania, is a classical saxophonist, as opposed to the more traditional jazz performer. He performs both as a recitalist and as a symphony orchestra player.

American Music of the 1980s is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the Gallery of Art and the Department of Music.

For more information, call 935-4841.

Leave a Comment

Comments and respectful dialogue are encouraged, but content will be moderated. Please, no personal attacks, obscenity or profanity, selling of commercial products, or endorsements of political candidates or positions. We reserve the right to remove any inappropriate comments. We also cannot address individual medical concerns or provide medical advice in this forum.